Hours of Service (HOS) are regulations that dictate the maximum number of hours a commercial truck driver can work within a specified period.
Hours of Service Explained
So, what exactly are Hours of Service regulations, and why are they so important? Well, put simply, HOS regulations are there to keep truckers and the public safe on the roads. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the HOS regulations to ensure that truckers get enough rest and are not fatigued while driving.
Think about it, if you’ve been driving for 14 hours straight, wouldn’t you start to feel tired and less alert on the road? That’s exactly what the FMCSA is trying to prevent with HOS regulations. By setting limits on the amount of time a trucker can work in a day, they’re reducing the risk of fatigue-related accidents and improving road safety for everyone.
But wait, it gets better! Not only are these regulations designed keep truckers and the public safe, they also help trucking companies manage their fleets and ensure compliance with federal regulations. By tracking their truckers’ HOS, companies can make sure they’re not overextending their drivers and putting them at risk of fatigue.
HOS are tracked by ELD.
What do HOS look like?
So, what does the this regulation actually look like? Well, truckers are currently allowed to drive for a maximum of 11 hours in a 14-hour period. There is also a mandatory 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving. In a 24-hour period, truckers must take 10 hours off duty. And, in a 7-day period, they must take 34 hours off duty.
But, as you might imagine, the HOS regulations are not without their challenges. Some truckers complain that the regulations are too restrictive and limit their ability to earn a living. Others worry about the accuracy of the data used to track hours of service, and the potential for data breaches. And let’s not forget the annoyance of having to constantly recharge the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) that tracks their HOS.
But despite these challenges, hours of service regulations are here to stay. They’re an essential part of the trucking industry. Overall, they’re helping to improve road safety and reduce the risk of fatigue-related accidents.